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Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2024 10am

It’s a dog’s life for newest RCMP member

    The youngest member of the RCMP arrived at her new posting in Drumheller last week, and one day hopes to take a bite out of crime.
    Derbie, an eight week old German Shephard, is biding her time at the detachment under the guidance of Constable Rachel Pergunas. Derbie arrived on November 10 and the cuddly bundle of fur is certainly turning heads. Constable Pergunas assures inSide Drumheller it won’t be long until she begins to look a little more intimidating.
    Pergunas herself is a newer arrival in Drumheller, coming most recently from Banff.  This is the second dog she has helped raise and train. Her first dog Kailin is in service.
    The RCMP police dog program covers every detail of the process from breeding to training to service. The Innisfail facility is the national centre for the program. Pergunas explains the dogs are tested soon after they are born and graded on their very basic natural instincts. After that, they are graded continually throughout their development.
    Derbie will be with Pergunas for about a year. During this time, Derbie will live at her home. The dog will be socialized and come along with Pergunas during her day-to-day activities to experience of different environments and interactions.
    The dog will receive informal obedience training. She explains unlike typical dog training, Derbie will not be trained to be subservient to her master, rather she will be raised to be the dominant dog. Her basic instinctive traits of aggression, prey drive and tracking will be encouraged in a playful way.
    After her time in Drumheller is through, and if Derbie meets her developmental goals, she will be fully trained into a service dog at the Innisfail facility.
    Pergunas explains that all dogs are trained in apprehension and tracking. They will then be trained either in drug or explosives detection.
    Because the job can be demanding on the dogs, they have a working life of about 6-7 years with the RCMP.
    Derbie is a rarity, as most often male dogs are trained for service. Pergunas said Derbie scored high in her natural abilities. Time will tell if she makes the grade.
    There are not many female canine handlers either, but that is Pergunas’ goal.
    She said it is about a five-year commitment to become a handler and it includes raising the pups.
    Pergunas is grateful the detachment is supportive of raising Derbie as all of her work with the dog is volunteer, and it does take time.
    To become a handler there are intense physical requirements. In some cases, the handler may have to carry or lift the dog, and have to run the same gamut as the animal in the case of tracking.
    “You never know if it is going to be five minutes or three hours,” she said.
    Don’t be surprised to see Derbie about town. Pergunas said in the near future she will be introducing her to schools, and will be out and about on her beat.


Badlands Community Facility rates given green light by town council

    The proposed rate structure for the Badlands Community Facility for 2012 to 2014 has been approved by council during their meeting on November 7.
    “The rates were set with a focus on accessibility and family fitness and wellness,” said Mayor Terry Yemen. “The town council feels that the new rates will be affordable for individuals and families in the community and provide an efficiency of operations with reasonable cost recovery for the facilities.”
    A membership at the Community Facility would include access to the state of the art fitness centre, running track, field house drop in activities, priority locker access, towel service, and discounted member fitness classes, leagues, and programs.
    A membership would also include access to the library. However, it is not necessary to purchase a membership to the Community Facility to access the library. Library cards will still be available through the library for those wishing to take out books, but who do not want to use the Community Facility.
    A multi-pass is available as well that would grant access to both the Community Facility and the Aquaplex.
    Fees for the facility are available for drop in (single use), 10 day, one month, three month, six month, and annual passes. Rates are different for adult, youth, senior, and family passes.
    Monthly payment options are available for the three and six month, and annual passes. For example, an adult annual multi-pass would be $37.00, for youths it would be $24.00, for seniors $22.00, and for a family $65.00 per month.
    Businesses wishing to purchase memberships for their employees will be offered a discounted corporate rate of 20 per cent on the purchase of at least four annual multi-facility passes.
    Current Aquaplex annual pass holders will be given a discount if they choose to upgrade their membership to a multi-facility pass for 2012.
    Memberships for the Community Facility will go on sale for the public at the beginning of December, just in time for the holidays.

Dinosaur Half donates $15K to community facility

    The Dinosaur Half was a success for runners on the course, and it shared its fortunes with the community last Thursday.
     The race committee donated $15,000 to the Badlands Community Facility. This is on top of the funds it gave following last year’s event, bringing the total to $19,000 over two years.
    “We’re just awfully proud that we are able to give back to the community in the fashion we have,” said Colin Kloot, organizing committee chairman.
    This was the second year for the annual Dinosaur Half and this year it almost doubled its participation, and added a 10 kilometre run to the event. There is no end in sight, it seems, and organizers hope to continue the growth into the future.
    “Without it being an inclusive participatory community event we wouldn’t have had it”, said Kloot.
    Kloot is appreciative to the committee, which organized the race, as well as the participants and the volunteers.
    “Our volunteers were amazing, not only on race day, but throughout the planning of the event,” he said.
    The event also enjoyed support from the community in the form of sponsorship.
    “Our sponsors, especially Community Futures, really stepped up to the plate, and we are really hoping to continue our partnership with them,” said Kloot, adding he is grateful for Encana’s sponsorship as well as all the other businesses and individuals that showed support.
    He said the support for the community facility by the committee would be an ongoing goal.
    “At this time, and until this community facility is well established, this will be our goal. And certainly whoever the beneficiary will be… the funds will never leave the community,” said Kloot.
    He adds that promoting health, physical activity and wellbeing will always be a component to the program.


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